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UK and US join forces to tackle cyber crime

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Business Secretary to announce £4 million of funding to counter cyber security threats at first ever US-UK cyber innovation summit.

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New government funding will help small businesses in the UK cyber sector to grow, collaborate and develop new solutions to tackle cyber threats, Business Secretary Vince Cable will announce today (16 September 2014).

Speaking at the first ever US-UK Global Cyber Security Innovation Summit in London, the Business Secretary will announce a £4 million competition for UK cyber businesses to develop ideas to tackle cyber security threats. He will also announce the appointment of a cyber security small business champion, and funding for projects that will drive growth and innovation in the sector. The competition will be run by the Technology Strategy Board, the government’s innovation agency, in 2015, which will award funding to the firms with the best ideas.

Ahead of the summit, Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

The growth of the cyber security sector in the UK is a great success story, worth over £6 billion and employing around 40,000 people. Building a strong and resilient cyberspace in the UK is central to ensuring that our companies can make the most of business opportunities online, whilst avoiding potentially costly threats to the information they hold and the services they provide.

Maintaining innovation and growth requires continued investment. Committing a further £4 million will help businesses of all sizes turn their ideas to counter cyber threats into reality. Partnering with industry experts will also increase the opportunities for the UK’s small cyber companies to work together and grow their businesses.

The Business Secretary will announce the appointment of cyber security small business champion, Andy Williams, an industry expert from the UK’s largest technology trade association techUK. Andy will be responsible for mapping cyber security small businesses, and will set up a UK wide growth project to encourage them to work closer together. His role will also involve working to showcase the capability of small and medium sized cyber businesses at UK and international events, delivering business advice and establishing an online portal to share information about national initiatives with the cyber business community.

Andy Williams said:

Given the rapidly evolving global cyber threat landscape, the emergence of highly innovative and agile new companies with specialist cyber capability will be vital to ensuring the future safety and prosperity of the UK. The extra funding that BIS is providing to support cyber start-ups and small business will be key to ensuring the UK’s position as a global leader in cyber security.

The Business Secretary will also announce that Dr Emma Philpott, managing director of cyber and technology catalyst Key IQ, will lead a project to actively work with local volunteers to establish regional clusters of small companies working in cyber security. This network of clusters will link the small and medium sized businesses to national opportunities and events while giving them a collective voice. She will bring considerable expertise to the role as the founder of both the Malvern cyber security cluster and the UK Cyber Security Forum.

Dr Emma Philpott said:

Small companies working in cyber security are active all across the UK. The clusters we are helping to set up will meet monthly, be free to join and give their members an opportunity to network together and partner each other. We have had enormous enthusiasm for this already and groups are already planned for 5 new regions.

Both projects will be delivered through the Cyber Growth Partnership which is a forum of government representatives, academia cyber security companies and trade bodies working to support the sector in the UK.

The Business Secretary will make the announcements to 250 senior members of government and industry attending the 2 day event at the British Museum. The summit is supported by the UK and US governments and brings together representatives of British and American government and business to encourage the creation of new partnerships and projects to tackle threats to our cyberspace.

Notes to Editors

  1. The Security Information Network (SINET) Global Cyber Security Innovation Summit focuses on building international public-private partnerships that will improve the protection of the UK and America’s critical infrastructures, national security and economic interests. The summit’s objective is to build and maintain international communities of interest and trust that foster vital information sharing, broad awareness and the application of the most innovative technologies of both nations to enable a safer and more secure homeland for the United States, United Kingdom and their trusted allies.
  2. The US Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate supports this event along with Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) as the UK representative.
  3. Representatives at the summit include Sir Iain Lobban, Director of GCHQ; Douglas Maughan, Cyber Security Division Director at the US Department of Homeland Security; and senior members of leading cyber companies from the UK and US.
  4. The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency. Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit Innovate UK.
  5. The Cyber Connect project to map UK cyber small businesses is being managed by techUK, an organisation representing more than 850 UK technology companies. These companies range from leading FTSE 100 companies to new innovative start-ups.
  6. The Cyber Clusters project helping to establish new UK cyber security clusters is being delivered through Key IQ, a cyber small and medium sized enterprise. Key IQ founded and runs the Malvern Cyber Security Cluster and recently also founded the UK Cyber Security Forum which links the cyber security small and medium sized enterprises across the UK.
  7. The Cyber Growth Partnership (CGP) is a joint initiative between industry, academia and government, aimed at boosting the UK’s global market position in cyber security products and services. The main UK ICT trade association, techUK, coordinates business and academic involvement in the CGP, while a high-level board, co-chaired by Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy, and Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT Group. As a result of the work of the Cyber Growth Partnership, a new Cyber Security Suppliers’ scheme has been developed. Businesses in the scheme can show that they supply cyber security products and services to the UK government and use the government logo in their marketing material.
  8. The UK Cyber Security Strategy (November 2011) sets out how the UK will support economic prosperity, protect national security and safeguard the public’s way of life by building a more trusted and resilient digital environment. The National Cyber Security Programme (NCSP) within the Cabinet Office coordinates and funds work undertaken by government departments to implement the UK Cyber Security Strategy. Information on progress against the strategy and achievements of the National Cyber Security Programme can be found at Keeping the UK safe in cyber space
  9. Cyber security facts and figures:
    • in 2013 the UK cyber security sector was worth over £6 billion and employed around 40,000 people
    • the number of people employed in the UK cyber security sector is predicted to grow in coming years
    • 1 in 6 businesses are not confident they’ll have sufficient security skills to manage their risks in the next year
    • 81% of large organisations had an information security breach in the past year
    • 60% of small businesses had an information security breach in the past year
    • £600,000 to £1.15 million is the average cost to a large organisation of its worst security breach of the year (up from £450,000 to £850,000 a year ago)
    • £65,000 to £115,000 is the average cost to a small business of its worst security breach of the year (up from £35,000 to £65,000 a year ago)
Published 16 September 2014